ELEMENT (REFILL) CARE & REPLACEMENT
For maximum effectiveness and longest element life, the windshield and wiper blades should be kept clean. Dirt, tree sap, road tar and such will cause streaking, smearing and blade deterioration if left on the glass. It is advisable to wash the windshield carefully with a commercial glass cleaner at least once a month. Wipe off the rubber blades with the dampened rag afterwards. Do not attempt to move wipers across the windshield by hand; damage to the linkage, motor and drive mechanism will result.
Examine the wiper blade elements. If they are found to be cracked, broken or torn, they should be replaced immediately. Replacement intervals will vary with usage, although ozone deterioration usually limits element life to about one year. If the wiper pattern is smeared or streaked, or if the blade chatters across the glass, the elements should be replaced. It is easiest and most sensible to replace the elements in pairs.
Original equipment wiper refills are available from the dealer. To replace the original equipment wiper refill:
- Remove the wiper blade assembly from the end of the wiper arm. Cover the end of the wiper arm with a soft cloth and carefully lower the arm onto the windshield.
- The wiper blade insert has two flat metal supports that fit into a groove on both sides of the insert. On one end of the insert, there is a tab in the groove that fits into a notch of the metal support to prevent the support from sliding out. Next to the notch for the metal support is a small rectangular hole. The wiper arm assembly has several, usually 4 small "C" shaped guide brackets referred to as yoke jaws that the wiper blade insert, along with the metal supports are slid into. The end yoke jaw is bent around the blade and into small rectangular holes on both sides of the wiper blade insert. Use a small screwdriver or needle nose pliers to carefully spread the yoke jaw and slide the wiper insert complete with the metal supports out of the wiper blade holder assembly.
- Transfer the metal supports onto the new wiper insert and slide the insert through the yoke jaws of the wiper blade holder assembly. There are usually four jaws; be certain when installing that the refill is engaged in all of them.
- Using a pair of pliers, carefully bend the end wiper arm yoke jaws around both sides of the blade and into the rectangular holes on both sides, making sure the blade is secure.
See Figures 1 through 8
- Carefully reinstall the wiper blade assembly back onto the wiper arm.
If the vehicle is equipped with aftermarket blades, there are several different brands and types of refills to that can be chosen. Aftermarket blades and arms rarely use the exact same type blade or refill as the original equipment. The following are some typical commercially available aftermarket blades, although not all of these may be available for your vehicle:
The Anco® type uses a release button that is pushed down to allow the refill to slide out of the yoke jaws. The new refill slides back into the frame and locks in place.
Some Trico® refills are removed by locating where the metal backing strip or the refill is wider. Insert a small screwdriver blade between the frame and metal backing strip. Then press down to release the refill from the retaining tab.
Other types of Trico® refills have two metal tabs which are unlocked by squeezing them together. The rubber filler can then be withdrawn from the frame jaws. A new refill is installed by inserting the refill into the front frame jaws and sliding it rearward to engage the remaining frame jaws. There are usually four jaws; be certain when installing that the refill is engaged in all of them. At the end of its travel, the tabs will lock into place on the front jaws of the wiper blade frame.
Another type of refill is made from polycarbonate. The refill has a simple locking device at one end which flexes downward out of the groove into which the jaws of the holder fit, allowing easy release. By sliding the new refill through all the jaws and pushing through the slight resistance when it reaches the end of its travel, the refill will lock into position.
To replace the Tridon® refill, it is necessary to remove the wiper blade. This refill has a plastic backing strip with a notch about 1 in. (25mm) from the end. Hold the blade (frame) on a hard surface so that the frame is tightly bowed. Grip the tip of the backing strip and pull up while twisting counterclockwise. The backing strip will snap out of the retaining tab. Do this for the remaining tabs until the refill is free of the blade. The length of these refills is molded into the end and they should be replaced with identical types.
Regardless of the type of refill used, be sure to follow the part manufacturer's instructions closely. Make sure that all of the frame jaws are engaged as the refill is pushed into place and locked. If the metal blade holder and frame are allowed to touch the glass during wiper operation, the glass will be scratched.
See Figures 9 through 18